The 10 Best “Hidden Gem” Schools in Metropolitan Boston

Boston is known for many things: the Red Sox, Fenway Park, Freedom Trail, Quincy Market, and top-notch private universities.

Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Boston University, and Tufts are some of the schools that attract students and faculty from the far corners of the world. With such a far reach, these colleges often overshadow other fantastic schools in and around the metropolitan Boston area, which includes Waltham, Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, Medford, Milton, Quincy, and Newton.

These areas are home to hidden gem schools that provide many of the same internship opportunities and vibrant city life as the top schools, but without the extreme acceptance rates. Students get a top-tier education in exchange for less application stress.

These schools also give undergraduates valuable technical and professional opportunities that boost their prospects in terms of employability and salary.

Students enjoy a world-class education in the heart of Boston without the intense competitiveness of more popular Boston schools, and yet they graduate with equally competitive skills and experiences. Students can explore a mix of technical programs and liberal arts curricula, as well as a plethora of academic and career-related organizations and clubs.

So if you’re looking for a great school in this iconic city, consider the following 10 hidden gems.


10. Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston, MA)

Wentworth Institute of Technology
photo via Wikimedia Commons

For students interested in gaining practical experience and being hired immediately following graduation, Wentworth is worth a serious look.

In 2019, 97% of students were hired or enrolled in graduate school within six months after graduation. The median salary for alumni with at least 10 years of experience is $112,700.

The institute offers 22 bachelor’s and 12 master’s degrees in engineering, computer science, design, and management. Undergraduates are required to complete two semesters of cooperative education in work placements, applying classroom lessons to the real world. Wentworth’s technical curriculum ensures that students are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in their preferred industry.

Notable alumni Russell Colley was a NASA engineer and inventor who created the silver nylon suits used in the first manned space mission, Project Mercury.


9. Lasell University (Newton, MA)

Lasell University
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Lasell is notable for connecting 100% of their students with at least one internship over the course of their college career. Many do more, gaining hands-on experience at leading businesses and research organizations.

It’s all part of the school’s integrated Connected Learning program. This takes the form of internships, but also service-learning, studying abroad, and a tuition-reducing professional track called Lasell Works.

Starting in sophomore year, Lasell Works prepares students for their chosen career through online courses, professional work experience, and faculty mentoring. Students live off-campus and are immersed early in their chosen field so that they graduate better-prepared and less indebted than their peers from other schools.

Lasell is well-known for its excellent fashion program, offering majors in fashion design & production, fashion media & marketing, and fashion merchandising & management. Fashion majors put together the annual Lasell Fashion Show, from the runway fashions themselves to the event promo. Fashion model and actress Nancy Donahue is a famous alum.


8. Curry College (Milton, MA)

Curry College started as a school of elocution in 1879, and to this day, it is still a revered school to study the written and spoken word.

The department of communication is highly renowned, as it sponsors two award-winning media outlets: non-commercial radio station WMLN-FM 91.5, supervised by Professor Alan Frank, and TV station CC8, run by Professor Jerry Gibbs.

In 1973, Curry launched the Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL) to aid college-level students with language-based learning difficulties. PAL continues to make Curry a leader today in the field of language-related disabilities.

Curry’s School of Nursing offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as certificates. Nursing students benefit from a rigorous STEM education with the convenience of being located near downtown Boston in a liberal arts college.


7. Emmanuel College (Boston, MA)

Emmanuel College
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to its partnership with Merck, Emmanuel is “the only college in the country with a private pharmaceutical research facility right on campus.” Merck Research Laboratories-Boston is a 300,000 square foot, 12-story center where students learn directly from pharmaceutical professionals and faculty. Emmanuel students even have the option of interning for the company.

But they aren’t limited to a Merck internship. In fact, like Lasell, the college matches 100% of its students with internship opportunities in and around Boston. The small liberal arts school’s dynamic metropolitan location makes it the perfect place for students to grow and challenge themselves.

On campus, there are a number of academic clubs and organizations, centered around subjects such as art history, psychology, STEM, history, and education.

Famous alumni include Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mary McGrory and Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.

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